Sharp at the CEATECH 2016 trade show in Japan this week unveiled an intriguing smartphone it’s calling the Corner R. The handset’s internal hardware specs are irrelevant – it’s the display that has the Internet talking today.
The Corner R features a 5.2-inch full HD IGZO LCD that utilizes Free-Form Display technology meaning it can be cut into various shapes. Besides the fact that it’s nearly bezel-less, what really makes the display pop is its truly rounded corners and button-free design (the buttons on the bottom are virtual).
I suspect a device with a display like this would have people lining up in droves but there are a few issues with it. For starters, it’s just a concept at this point.
As best I can tell from the images courtesy of The Verge, there doesn’t appear to be a cutout for an earpiece speaker. That’s kind of important for a phone although there are ways to get around this, like using a digital wave receiver, for example. But perhaps the bigger issue I see with a nearly bezel-less design is usability.
A display that stretches to the far edges would almost certainly need to somehow deactivate touch input around its perimeter. Otherwise, your fingers / hands are likely going to accidentally touch the display, resulting in all sorts of erratic behavior.
This isn’t the first time Sharp, which was acquired by Foxconn earlier this year for $3.5 billion, has impressed with its mobile display technology. A couple of years ago, the company introduced the Aquos Crystal, a smartphone with a near bezel-less, 5-inch display that got loads of attention despite its mid-range hardware.
All images courtesy The Verge